2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review: Racy Even Without The Quadrifoglio

– Detroit, Michigan

It’s one thing to be enamored with the race track-focused, high-performance variant of a sedan. It’s another thing altogether to still get driving thrills from the more mainstream version of that car. Yet after spending nearly 700 miles in the Alfa Romeo Giulia – the 2.0-liter model that most people will buy, rather than the raging Quadrifoglio – I have a long list of praise for the car. I like looking at it, driving it, and even riding as a passenger in it. If only a few finishing touches could be polished, the Giulia would be my favorite entry-level sports sedan around.

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Pros

Stunning styling. This isn’t the hotted-up, 505-horsepower version of the Giulia, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell from the curb. Dressed up in Ti Sport trim, this car looks positively ready to hit the race track. Couple its aggressive body kit with the svelte lines of its sheet metal, and the Giulia never fails to make me look twice.

Punchy engine. With 280 hp and 306 pound-feet of torque, this 2.0-liter turbo engine is more powerful and torquier than most of its direct competitors. Urgent acceleration is but a split-second away, accompanied by an invigoratingly throaty exhaust note and enabled in part by prompt shifts from the eight-speed automatic.

Energetic handling. The Giulia is ...